Jul 26, 2018 11:00AM
By Kerri Regan
By Kerri Regan and Ronda Alvey
• This area was inhabited by the Tachi Yokut Indians for thousands of years.
• Hanford was established shortly after railroad tracks were laid through a sheep camp in 1877. The city is named for railroad executive James Madison Hanford.
• Electric lights came to Hanford back in 1891, when pioneer flour miller H.G. Lacey built an electrical generating plant. The Lacey Milling Company is still operating in Hanford today.
• Hanford’s sister city is Setana, a small town in Hokkaido, Japan. Through this exchange program that promotes international friendship, Hanford sends delegates of prominent residents and high school students to Setana in the summer, and Setana sends delegates to Hanford in the winter.
• Notable people who have called Hanford home include Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Leslie Bassett, former U.S. Rep. Calvin M. Dooley, Steve Perry from Journey, cowboy/actor Slim Pickens and actor Jan-Michael Vincent.
Good Works Good Treats: If you’re looking for a spot to beat the heat, stop by One Eleven Coffee for an iced beverage or local made pastry. Located downtown, they provide a convenient place to meet or work. Their mission is to feature products that have good works stories behind them.
King Me: Courthouse Square in Hanford’s city center will host the 40th annual Renaissance of Kings Cultural Arts Faire on the first weekend of October. The free event usually draws more than 15,000 guests, and it celebrates the era when England was ruled by King Henry VIII.
Cultural Experiences: Kings Art Center is the county’s premier visual arts gallery and art training center, with gallery shows changed about every four weeks. The Kings Symphony Orchestra usually performs four times a year, drawing musicians from all over the San Joaquin Valley. Hanford’s Fox Theatre, built in 1929, is used regularly for live concerts and other activities.
Exploring Historical Roots: Hanford Carnegie Museum (built in 1905) was originally one of the libraries funded by steel industry magnate Andrew Carnegie to show his gratitude for the millions of dollars he had made in the United States. The building was renovated and reopened as a museum in 1975. It’s said to be one of the state’s best examples of Romanesque architecture, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Things to do in HANFORD
Celebrating the Chinese Community: China Alley is a short street featuring 11 historic buildings in downtown Hanford, and was once home to Chinese immigrants who came to this town to work. A Moon Festival is held there in early October to honor these cultural roots. The Taoist Temple dates back to 1893, after it moved following a fire in the previous Chinatown area, and it’s open for tours once a month.
Here’s the Scoop: Superior Dairy is a classic 1920s ice cream parlor that makes all of its ice cream on site. A single scoop is big enough for two, but we won’t judge you if you decide not to share. Treat yourself!
On Two Wheels: The Hanford Criterium bicycle races are held each spring, and the 0.9-mile hourglass-style course runs through downtown streets. If you’re not up for riding, it’s still fun to watch!
Grab A Bite: Hungry? There’s a locally owned restaurant in Hanford to meet just about everyone’s tastes. Check out the gyros or shawarma at Zaytoona, or if you’re just feeling like a spot of tea, L.T. Sue Co. Tea Room and Emporium features more than 100 loose leaf green, white and black teas, along with specialty herbal and tea blends that are made on site.
On the map: HANFORD
1. The Hanford Marketplace takes place every Thursday evening from May through October. Enjoy fresh produce, food booths, live music, and a beer and wine garden. There are plenty of activities to keep children busy, too, like carousel rides, a petting zoo, pony rides and a mini train ride through the Civic Center.
2. The Children’s Storybook Garden and Museum is a delightful place to allow your imagination to wander. Its vision is to focus on literacy and healthy eating through interactive, creative activities.
3. Kings Speedway at the Kings Fairgrounds features dirt track racing from March through October.
4. The Del Monte tomato cannery employs 435 year-round and 1,500 seasonal employees.